China

China

Posted on by David Hurth  

Ford is looking to re-launch the classic Escort nameplate for the Chinese market. The new Ford Escort Concept debuted at the Shanghai Motor Show and will be a compact four door sedan in its reincarnation.

The Escort name brings back memories of the 60’s and 70’s cars that were popular rally racing cars or the popular selling cars from the 80’s and 90’s. The nameplate is still very big in China where older cars command a premium.

The concept has styling much like that of other recent Fords, such as the Focus and Fusion . The front features a large angular grille that sets the styling tone for the vehicle. It also features bold lines that flow smoothly from front to back.

The car looks to help Ford gather more sales in the emerging Chinese market, as the American automaker is tries to gain foothold in the Asian market. The hope is that the Escort will give them a leg up.

Hit the jump to read more details about the Ford Escort Concept.

Posted on by Simona  

It is not a secret anymore that the Chinese market is clamoring for longer versions of the models sold in markets like the U.S. or Europe. So, it should be no surprise to anyone that Mercedes has unveiled a long-wheelbase version of the new E-Class at Auto China 2013 in Shanghai.

The model measures 5,019 mm (197.59 inches) in length so it offers an extra 140 mm (5.51 inches) legroom in the rear. Also, as a first for the model, the new E-Class Long offers two different front ends. The standard version features the classic, three-dimensional saloon radiator grille in three-louver look, while the Sport Sedan version comes with the sporty front end featuring a centrally positioned star.

Chinese customers can choose between two variants — luxurious Sedan and the Sport Sedan — and three trim levels — E 260 L, E 300 L and E 400 L.

Hit the jump to read more about the new Mercedes E-Class Long.

Posted on by Simona  

Press days for the 2013 New York Auto Show are over, so now it’s time to move our attention to the next show on the docket: Auto Shanghai 2013 set to start on April 20. In the Big Apple, Nissan unveiled the hybrid version for the Nissan Pathfinder and the company will bring an all-new concept car called Friend-ME to China.

All the information we have on the new concept up to this point is a teaser image that reveals an innovative set of headlights and Nissan’s announcement that the new Friend-ME will feature a unique center console that allows "Four Seats, One Mind Connectivity" - equal information sharing among all aboard.

According to Nissan, the new Friend-ME is "designed for the vibrant, young generation in China, one of most exciting segments in the fastest-growing automobile markets in the world."

Alongside the new Friend-ME concept, Nissan will also display 20 new models in Shanghai.

Updated 04/20/2013: Nissan has officially unveiled the Friend-ME Concept. See all of the details after the jump.

Fisker Karma

Fisker is in some serious trouble, as disagreements between management and its founder resulted in Henrik Fisker to step down from his position. Fiskers only real hope at this point is to find a buyer or a strategic partner to help alleviate its financial issues. For a long time, Geely Geely – Volvo’s owner – would end up being the high bidder, mostly due to their interest in Fisker’s Delaware assembly plant. According to a report from Reuters, Geely has pulled out of the bidding process because of the DOE loan conditions.

This leaves only one bidder in the running for Fisker and that bidder is China-owned Dongfeng Motor Group Co. It is unclear at this time whether Fisker Fisker will automatically accept Dongfeng’s offer, but at this point, that look like the only real option. Depending on the terms of a potential deal, this could result in Fisker becoming partially owned by China – creepy…

Regardless of how things pan out, we really want to see Fisker survive all of this. We’ll continue to keep you updated.

Source: Reuters

When you mention the name Dartz within the automotive circle, you’re not going to be greeted with the kind of response that you’d normally get for any other kind of automaker in the world.

See, Dartz has long been a different brand. They don’t build sedans. They don’t build sports cars. Heck, they don’t even build supercars. Where their specialty lies is building trucks. And not just any trucks, mind you. These guys from Russia build trucks that adhere by its tagline of “Bullet Proof Trend Setters.”

To say that Dartz is anything but conventional is to say that Paris Hilton has acting skills. There’s nothing ordinary about this company and their latest offering, a special China-only luxury track called the Black Snake, is no different.

Built to celebrate the incoming Year of the Snake, the Dartz Black Snake is the kind massive yet opulent vehicle that will immediately catch your eye. And to be honest, if your list of clients include Czar Nicholas II, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, and Admiral General Aladeen, then you immediately gain credibility as an automaker unlike any other.

Find out more about the Dartz Black Snake after the jump

GAC Group was the only Chinese automaker present at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show , yet they did present a pretty unique concept that caught the attention of a lot of people.

The concept is called the E-JET, a hybrid sedan prototype whose design characteristics remind us of another just-introduced vehicle at Detroit (Is this the Chinese cousin of the CLA Class ?). The E-JET measures 4,570 x 1,790 x 1,490 mm (179.9 x 70.4 x 58.6 inches) with a 2,620 mm (103.1-inch) wheelbase. Not too bad for what looks like a compact sedan.

As a range-extending hybrid, the E-JET is powered by a 1.0-liter, four-cylinder gas engine that produces 60 horsepower and 60 pound-feet of torque. It also has a permanent-magnet motor that produces a peak output of 127 horsepower and a permanent-magnet generator produces 40 horsepower. On top of all that, a 13 kWh lithium-ion battery can power the E-JET in electric mode for up to 62 miles.

Put all of its powertrain capabilities together and you have a car that boasts of a total range of 373 miles with a fuel consumption of 1.9 l/100 km (123.8 mpg U.S. or 148.6 mpg UK), a 0 to 31 mph time of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 99 mph.

We’re not entirely sure if GAC has any intention of building a production model for the E-JET. But we do have to give it to them; this is one interesting concept.

If you needed any more proof of the burgeoning auto gold mine that China is fast becoming, don’t look any further than Chevrolet releasing a special edition Cruze in that market.

We get limited run exotics and the supercar variety, but a Cruze? It’s not exactly the first model you’ll think of when releasing a special edition model in China. But that’s the kind of growth the Chinese market has had in recent years, enough for automakers like Chevy to green light a unique variant for a mid-size car like Cruze.

In any case, the Cruze WTCC Edition was designed to celebrate Chevrolet’s success in the WTCC racing series. The car itself carries race-inspired graphics and a slew of new body kit components that include a new rear bumper, modified side skirts, and a truck-mounted spoiler. Looking at the overall product,

As far as the engine goes, the Cruze WTCC Edition comes with a choice of powertrains, including a 1.6-liter gas engine that produces 115 horsepower and 111 pounds-per-feet of torque and a more powerful 1.8-liter gas engine that delivers 145 horsepower and 130 pounds-per-feet of torque.

For a chance to own one, you’ll have to be in China with 123,900 yuan, or about $20,000, to spend.

Add Jeep to the list of automakers looking to ingratiate themselves to the Chinese market. The American automaker has announced plans to offer a special edition Grand Cherokee SRT8 exclusively to the Chinese market.

Yeah, what’s new, right?

Called the Hyun Black Edition, the special make Grand Cherokee SRT8 is actually no different from the SRT8 Vapor Edition Jeep announced earlier this year. The SUV will retain the Brilliant Black paint finish to go with plenty of chrome accents, tinted bi-xenon headlights, a gloss black painted grille, black badging that we, presume will be the only difference in the Hyun Black Edition from the Vapor Edition, and a new set of 20" aluminum wheels.

Performance capabilities will also be similar because the Hyun Black Edition is expected to be powered by a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine that produces a stout 470 horsepower and 465 pounds-per-feet of torque, allowing the SUV to hit 0-60 mph in just 4.8 seconds with a top speed of 160 mph.

For all the impressive qualities of the Grand Cherokee SRT8 Hyun Black Edition, there is one caveat: the model is currently available for order in China with a price of 1.19 million yuan. That, dear friends, is around $190,000 based on current exchange rates. It’s a figure that’s almost four times as much as the Vapor Edition Grand Cherokee.

Yikes.

Technology has come a long way even in the past couple of years. That’s especially more evident when somebody from halfway around the world asks somebody to do something on their cars.

That’s the situation Canadian tuner SR Auto Group found itself in after a Chinese customer asked SR to work on his Ferrari 458 Italia , a project that was only accomplished because of what SR described as a lot of "persistence, drive, and ambition".

The pretty cool part about this story was how the Chinese customer found about SR Auto Group. Care to venture a guess?

Yup, he found SR Auto Group online.

To its credit, SR Auto Group went ahead and did the build, dressing up the Ferrari supercar with what looks like a chrome-red body. The two-tone treatment also includes a polished-black hood and roof, and concludes with a set of 19-inch Modern Black PUR 4OUR Monoblock wheels.

The project took a couple of months to finish, but in the end, all parties involved got what they wanted. And they have the continuous growth of technology to thank for it.

If you thought the Audi R8 China Edition was rare, then you’ll be shocked to know that there’s a limited-edition model that’s even rarer than that. This is the Audi R8 V10 Limited Edition and, as its name suggests, Audi is only building a select number of these babies — 30 in all — for the Chinese market. To distinguish itself from the rest of the R8s out there, including the aforementioned China Edition, Audi decided to dress up the R8 Limited Edition in a unique Nordic Gold paint finish that, on looks alone, can make a serious case as a permanent color option for the R8.

Aesthetic modifications are also abound for this limited-run model, highlighted by front and rear air intakes and outlets, lightweight tailpipes, and a radiator grille that has been finished in matte black. The dress up continues with the front and rear slats. Additionally, the rear bumper, and the radiator grille surround and bars all sport a matte-titanium-grey finish. The front spoiler, side blades, fixed rear wing and the enlarged diffuser have been upgraded to carbon matte.

Inside, the R8 Limited Edition features sports bucket seats and headlining, both of which have been dressed with black Alcantara with contrasting stitching and piping, and the knee pad now comes in shark skin black with its own contrast stitching. Carbon matte, or at least inlays of it, was also used inside, particularly the A-pillar and the door pulls. To assert the limited-edition nature of this R8, the aluminum gear knob comes with a limited edition number, ranging from 1 to 33 with the numbers 4, 14, and 24 excluded from the list. Why, you ask? The number "4" equates to bad mojo for the Chinese.

Audi China has priced the R8 Limited Edition at 2,628,000 yuan, which is around $420,000 based on current exchange rates, an amount that affluent and passionate Chinese auto enthusiasts won’t have trouble shelling out.


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